Dairy Fodder Water for Profit - Irrigation Management Manual
Developed and delivered by the Department of Employment Economic Development and Innovation as an initiative of Rural Water Use Efficiency - Stage 4.
Supported by the Department of Enviornment and Resource Management, and the Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation.
The Rural Water Use Efficiency (RWUE) project has been funded by the Queensland Government since 1999, with industry bodies responsible for managing their individual projects. The Dairy and Fodder Water for Profit project is managed by the Queensland Dairy Farmers’ Organisation and supported by DEEDI. The project team has sought to improve irrigation systems and management practices of both Dairy and Fodder farmers throughout the State.
Irrigation practices have changed significantly over the duration of the project, the catalyst for this has been the Financial Assistance program that has enable producers to purchase improved irrigation hardware and benefit from the Team’s irrigation evaluations that have provided data on the actual performance of systems.
When the project commenced the majority of irrigation systems were of a high pressure nature and there was generally little understanding of the benefits of improved irrigation systems. As new hardware was installed the Team and producers started to realise the potential of low and medium pressure systems particularly. Producers have made savings of over 60% with the new equipment and many have installed more than one area of improved irrigation since realising the benefits.
The consistent message that the RWUE team has delivered for over a decade is that the irrigation system alone does not make for improved efficiencies; it is in fact competent management of the whole farming system that realises the largest gains. With an improved irrigation system, correct fertiliser applications, grazing management, scheduling etc. producers are able to maximise gains across the business. There are many examples of profitable changes in practice in both the Dairy and Fodder industries that have stemmed from the involvement in the RWUE programs since the late nineties.
This book highlights some of the most important areas when considering irrigation management. Soils, irrigation systems, pumps, scheduling and economics are all discussed. The important topics of forage and grazing management are not included in this publication, they are however essential in achieving improved irrigation efficiencies and information is available through other DEEDI resources.
Irrigation for Profit - Three years from March 2000 to June 2003
This book contains the findings and activities from the three years of the Rural Water Use Efficiency initiative for the dairy and lucerne industries.
Compiled by Greg Stanley, Ross Warren and Geoff Johnston January 2004
Introduction to Irrigation for Profit
When the Irrigation for Profit project commenced in March 2000 an introductory booklet was produced to detail the opportunities that irrigators could access by becoming involved in the project.
While involvement was voluntary, many producers did avail themselves of these services. Trials and demonstrations on irrigation efficiency were conducted under normal farming conditions. The rural water use efficiency (RWUE) team identified management practices, both good and bad, that irrigators could introduce, improve or alter in their own operation.
The economic benefits to the farming community were extensive. Coupled with potential water savings in the dairy and lucerne industries of 14% and 9% respectively there have also been significant productivity gains in terms of improved pasture and crop growth of approximately 10%.
The positive feedback from industry indicated the practical nature and hands on approach the project offered was appreciated by producers. In this book, we present the three years findings from stage one of the Irrigation for Profit project.
This book comprises four sections:
Section 1 - Outlines the project activities under taken over the three years.
Section 2 - Examines the technical information in more detail.
Section 3 - Covers the on-farm case studies and their findings.
Section 4 - Looks at the reference material produced for producers and industry over the three years.